"The call for applications began in March and continued through April, right before the coronavirus struck in Argentina. Six companies have already applied for an online license, three of which are more advanced in terms of document submission, and we know certain international companies are also interested in applying," Vivot said.
"At the beginning, many operators were eager to get into this market, but many of these plans were delayed as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak. Fortunately, they are very much interested again and we are working tirelessly with the companies that have already paid administrative fees to apply, but we have also engaged in talks with other interested operators."
“Argentina is a very appealing market to online operators, despite our economy. Moreover, the regulations enacted in Buenos Aires City were draft with a wide perspective, keeping in mind that a similar regulatory scheme could be applied to other jurisdictions in the country, to make Argentina even more appealing to investors," Vivot said. "We believe ALEA (Argentina's state lotteries association) needs to occupy a prominent role in this process because as appealing as Buenos Aires City may be to international operators, Argentina is much more interesting for them as a comprehensive region, so every province should be part of this market."
"The best way to fight illegal gambling is to regulate it both off and online," Vivot said. "To do that, we need to create a competitive, legal market."
When asked about the role of the city's lottery agencies, Vivot said LOTBA is tirelessly working on reopening these shops to the public with the relevant COVID-19 safety protocols in place, and as regards the online segment, he explained LOTBA wants agencies to benefit from the creation of this new industry. "That is why we are already considering ways in which we can integrate these agencies with the new online gaming platforms."
"Despite the delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are hopeful that by the end of the year, we will be ready to roll out online gaming in the city and we believe that in 2021, we will have a full year of online operations," he concluded.